Hidden Veg Tomato Soup with Gruyere Bacon Croutons - yep, this winter soup makes a scrumptiously satisfying dinner!
I couldn't serve a soup without toppings. I just don't have it in me. Toppings can turn a simple soup into something memorable. A dinner rather than lunch. A weeknight meal without lots of faff.
I guess chunky soups are different - my chicken pot pie soup or corned beef hash soup get off lightly with a sprinkling of fresh herbs. I suppose it's because whilst I love soup, I also love some texture in there, this Hidden Veg Tomato Soup with Gruyere Bacon Croutons is no different.
Now the topping for this soup - Gruyere & Bacon toasted sandwich, is probably a meal in itself. But this way, you can divide one toasted sandwich between 3 or 4 people (ok, maybe two, if you're really hungry).
With a tinned-tomato base for the soup, it also has onion, sweet potato and red pepper thrown in. They add a hint of sweetness, although you might also want to add a pinch of sugar if your tinned tomatoes are on the acidic side.
The sweet potato also adds a lovely creaminess to the Hidden Veg Tomato Soup with Gruyere Bacon Croutons, so it doesn't really need that cream swirl at the end (but I like it anyway because it's pretty).
Hidden Veg Tomato Soup with Gruyere Bacon Croutons
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion - peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic - peeled and roughly chopped
- 175 g approx. 1 medium peeled sweet potato, chopped into small chunks
- 1 large red pepper - deseeded and chopped
- 1200 ml tins of chopped tomatoes in juice
- 300 ml hot vegetable stock - (use bouillon for gluten free)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 4 pieces bread - use gluten free bread if needed
- 75 g Gruyere cheese - grated
- 6 slices streaky bacon
- 5 tbsp double cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add in the onions. Cook on a low heat for 5-6 minutes until the onions soften. Add in the garlic, sweet potato and red pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the tins of tomatoes, stock, tomato puree and sugar.
- Bring the soup to a gently bubble, then simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring every so often, until the sweet potato is soft.
- Whilst the soup is simmering, lightly toast the bread on one side. Take out of the grill and sprinkle the cheese on two of the slices (so the cheese is on top of the crisp side). Top with the bacon and place the other two slices on top, with the toasted side facing inwards. Place back under the grill and cook on a low heat until browned, then turn over and cook the other side. The cheese should melt during this time. Take the toasties out and cut each toastie into small, bitesize pieces.
- Your soup should now be ready. Turn off the heat and blend the soup using a hand blender. Stir in all but 1 tbsp of the cream and season with half the salt and pepper. Taste and season with a little more if needed.
- Split the soup between 6 bowls. Swirl in the remaining cream, top with the toastie pieces and sprinkle with parsley before serving.